Diabetes: a growing epidemic of all ages.

Paul A. Moore, Janice C. Zgibor, Ananda P. Dasanayake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The incidence and prevalence of diabetes mellitus are increasing, with more than 135 million people affected worldwide. Despite greater knowledge of the disease, one-third of people with the disease are undiagnosed. Recent estimates indicate that one in three U.S. children born in 2000 will develop diabetes. OVERVIEW: Diabetes is not equally distributed within the U.S. population. Type 1 diabetes occurs most frequently in white non-Hispanic children. A higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes is seen among those who are older, female and overweight. Non-Hispanic African-American and Hispanic populations in the United States also have been found to be at greater risk of developing type 2 disease. Among certain older patient populations, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes may be as high as 20 to 25 percent. As the percentage of older Americans increases and as the prevalence of obesity increases, a greater number of patients with diabetes will be seen and treated by dental practitioners. CONCLUSIONS AND PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Oral health complications, including extensive periodontal disease, tooth loss, soft-tissue pathologies, xerostomia and burning mouth syndrome have been reported among patients with long-standing and poorly controlled diabetes. Dentists have an opportunity and responsibility to educate patients with diabetes about the oral complications of the disease, and to promote proper oral health behaviors that limit the risks of tooth loss, periodontal disease and soft-tissue pathologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11S-15S
JournalJournal of the American Dental Association (1939)
Volume134 Spec No
StatePublished - Oct 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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